Lourdes 2019

Click here to download a poster for the 2019
Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes

Augustine Camino

A pilgrimage to the Birthplace of Christianity

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A increasing number of pilgrimages are taking place on both a Diocesan and parish level. In our demanding lives and busy schedules, there is a general revival of interest in the idea of making a spiritual journey for refreshment of the body and soul.  With the concept of mindfulness on the increase, there seems to be a need to take time out of our everyday thoughts and, perhaps most importantly, have space to be inspired, to 'touch base' with God, to pray for ourselves and loved ones.

We will be looking at sites across the world, from the Holy Land to the Augstine Camino, which is in the Diocese of Southwark itself.  Many people struggle with finding time to take a break from the day-to-day routine for reasons which may be financial, because of family commitments or health constraints. We hope to bring a flavour of 'being on pilgrimage' to you and to inspire you to make time for pilgrimage where possible.

Ecumenical Pilgrimage to the Holy Land:March 2020

In Spring next year, between 3-10 March, Bishop Paul Hendricks will be jointly leading an ecumenical pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Bishop Christopher Chessun of the Anglican Diocese of Southwark. Also taking part in leading this journey will be the Dean of St George's Cathedral, Canon Richard Hearn, and the Dean of Southwark Anglican Cathedral, The Very Reverend Andrew Nunn.

During the pilgrimage, those taking part will be sharing everything in common, apart from Holy Communion which, as Bishop Chessun has commented 'remains the goal of our ecumenical journey'.  It promises to be a memorable few days of walking in the footsteps of Jesus, taking in a variety of locations such as Jersusalem, Nazareth and Caesarea, and visiting sites such as the Basilica of the Nativity, Jacob's Well and the Garden of Gethsemane as well as places associated with Jesus' life around the Sea of Gaililee.  

The cost of this pilgrimage will be £1,745 per person on a full board basis. Please click here for the brochure & booking form.

What to expect in the Holy Land... read these articles

Walking in the Footsteps of Christ

Canon John Weatherill preaches in the Holy Sepulchre,
accompanied by Fr Andrew Broster from Lancaster Diocese

Canon John Weatherill, Episcopal Vicar for Finance and Parish Priest of Purley, writes about his recent first-time pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Although this pilgrimage has left an enormous and lasting personal impression on me, the impetus came from my becoming the new Parish Priest at Purley and wanting to undertake a significant pilgrimage together in order for us to draw closer to each other spiritually and in simple companionship.

It was my first journey to the Holy Land. I had always had misgivings about security, a feeling shared by some parishioners, and about parts of the Palestine Authority areas (particularly Bethlehem) being suddenly closed off. However, we all felt and were safe and our journeys went smoothly.  As we drove late at night from Tel Aviv airport towards our accommodation at Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee I experienced a childlike excitement, sitting at the front of the coach, at seeing on the main highway road signs to Cana and Nazareth.

I had thought that this would be a once in a lifetime experience for me; but I am keen to go back with another group of parishioners, because this is an experience I want to share. I want to see their faces as they see these places with such familiar names, where Our Lord walked, talked, lived, died and rose again. I would also like to encourage Christians in the UK to support our brother and sister Christians in the Holy Land, who are now a sad minority of the population.

So, what is it that we experienced? Father Bargil Pixner coined the phrase the “Fifth Gospel” in speaking of the Holy Land. By this he described what we ourselves experienced: being in the home country of Our Lord brought him closer, seemed to explain so much just by virtue of our appreciating how far he walked between places (Nazareth and Cana for instance) and over what terrain and with what views of countryside and the Sea of Galilee.

To read more of this article and see additional photos click here.

Let us go to God's House

Bishop Paul reflects affectionately on a trip to the Holy Land at the end of his Seminary days and looks forward to the 2020 Ecumenical Pilgrimage

Bishop Paul Hendricks with ecumencial friends in Christian Unity Week

I’ll never forget the first time I entered Jerusalem. As our coach approached the holy city, I joined in saying the words of the psalm that pilgrims were already saying for many centuries before the time of Jesus. ‘I rejoiced when I heard them say, “Let us go to God’s house”, and now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.’ I was making the journey, along with five other recently-ordained priests, in our final year of studies in Rome, along with our seminary Spiritual Director.

The psalm was already familiar to us, through saying the Divine Office – that selection of psalms and other, mainly Scriptural, texts – which is the official daily prayer of the Church. It was quite an emotional moment for us, feeling that we were somehow inserted into a tradition that has meant to much to so many people, stretching back over so many generations.

This experience came back to me with particular vividness recently, as I worked with a planning group for a new pilgrimage to take place from 3rd to 10th March 2020. This is being organised by our cathedral of St George’s, along with Southwark Cathedral, our Anglican neighbour down the road at London Bridge – though we’re also expecting to attract pilgrims from other parishes around our two dioceses.

To read more of the article, click here.

The Augustine Camino

The Augustine Camino Route

The scenic Augustine Camino is based within the Diocese of Southwark, and is essentially a pilgrimage to the Birthplace of English Christianity, which runs from Rochester Cathedral to the Shrine of St Augustine in Ramsgate.  The Shrine has recently been improved through a major heritage grant from the National Lottery.

The Camino can be completed in one week, but can also be taken at a lesser pace through villages, churches and the inspiring countryside of Kent. Each major section of the pilgrimage can be completed during the course of a single day. The route is not strenuous and the aim to enjoy good company, new conversations, beautiful countryside, a good pub lunch, hiistory and heritage and the chance to embrace prayer.

A number of one-day pilgrimages will take place during the course of this summer, including a free walk on 8th June 2019 from Faversham to Canterbury, which willl encompass a visit to the relic of St Thomas More's head and a Prayer and Pilgrimage service at Canterbury Cathedral.

Find out more details by visiting the link below:

Click here for further details of this one-day pilgrimage

Why go on pilgrimage

Everyone seems to be going on pilgrimage. The latest statistics from the Santiago Pilgrim Office show that over three hundred thousand pilgrims walked at least 100 km to the Shrine of St James in 2018 and over six thousand were from Britain. In Italy the Via Francigena is increasingly popular. It is now possible to walk from Oslo to Trondheim along St Olav's Way and here in Britain there are many new pilgrim routes including the St Thomas Way from Swansea to Hereford.

Motivations are mixed. In Spain about half of pilgrims walk the Camino for non-religious reasons. The Green Pilgrimage Project promotes pilgrimage as an environmentally friendly form of tourism and the NHS promotes walking for health reasons...

To read more of this article by the founder of the Augustine Camino, Andrew Kelly, click here.

To expore the Camino further visit: http://augustinecamino.co.uk/

Lourdes Pilgrimage

The Annual Archdiocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes, led by Bishop Paul Hendricks, runs from Friday 23rd August – Friday 30th August 2019. The Pastoral Theme for 2019 is “Blessed are you poor, for the kingdom of God is yours” (Lk.6/20).
It would be wonderful if every Southwark parish was represented and our Pilgrimage Director, although mindful of the cost, would like to encourage parishes to consider joining the pilgrimage as a group or to send two or three parishioners so that the whole Diocese can be represented.  
The booking forms and the brochure are available through Canon Edward.  Please telephone 020 8303 4422 or email welling@rcaos.org.uk

You can also download the latest Catholic Association Lourdes Pilgrimage Brochure: click here.